Tengger Cavalry is one of a very small handful of bands that mixes Chinese and Mongolian Folk music with Metal. Of all of the groups I’ve heard, Tengger Cavalry integrates the Folk music aspects into their music the most. Chthonic is known to use Chinese Folk rhythms and song structures in their music, but for the most part, they’re solidly Metal. Tengger Cavalry, on the other hand, blurs the line between a Metal band incorporating Folk into their music, and a Folk band that’s incorporating Metal. It’s a very interesting listen, to say the least. As much as 2013’s Black Steed was Folk-influenced, Ancient Call takes that even further. Admittedly, some of the songs on this LP are a bit on the “Chinese equivalent of a Renaissance Faire” side, but for the most part, it’s like listening to the soundtrack to an epic tale of ancient China (maybe something like Red Cliff or Hero). If there is a flaw in the band’s sound, it’s that they’re sometimes too heavy on the Folk music and too light on the Metal. Tracks like “Brave” are essentially straight-out Folk with only minor Metal parts. You can barely hear the guitars sometimes because the Folk instruments push them so far into the background. Still, when they successfully integrate the two styles, they strike musical gold. Fans of Folk Metal that are looking for something different should definitely check this out if you can find it. I’ve noticed that a lot of this band’s material is difficult to get, but based on the recordings that I’ve heard, it’s well worth tracking down.
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